Central Florida set up a final-day showdown and kept alive its hopes for a conference title Saturday with a dominant 84-68 win over Santa Fe at Gainesville.
The Patriots (24-5, 6-1) now enter their regular season-ending visit to Daytona State on Wednesday with just one conference loss; with a win, they'll tie Daytona (20-6, 7-0) at 7-1 and force a single-game, neutral-site playoff on Friday with the conference crown at stake. If CF loses Wednesday or Friday, they'll compete for the conference's second state playoff berth in a four-team tournament the week of Feb. 22.
For now, CF can bask in a convincing victory over its nearest rival. The Patriots held the Saints (15-11, 3-4) to just 35 percent shooting from the field and built its lead to as much as 24 in the second half. Ricardo Ratliffe put up typical monster numbers with 29 points and 15 rebounds, Josh Proctor scored 15 and Travis Johnson notched all 11 of his points after halftime.